Photokina 2014 highlights

Housing

Nicolo Bini's company has devised three new models of the Binishell

It may not come as a surprise that a papier-mâché-like building technique using an inflatable membrane and concrete dome is yet to really take hold. It was in the 1960s that architect Dr Dante Bini pioneered the Binishell as a cheaper and more eco-friendly way of construction. While this led to the building of more than a thousand domes, the practice was largely abandoned, due in part to concerns surrounding their stability. Dante's son Nicolo, also an architect, is now looking to revive the Binishell method, with a view to providing low-cost housing solutions around the world.  Read More

Mint Street housing development, east London, by Pitman Tozer (Image: Killian O'Sullivan)

Architects Pitman Tozer have built a 7-story housing block in Mint Street, east London, for Peabody housing that combines market-rate and subsidized apartments in a modern, stylish, efficient building located only 12 meters (40 ft) from a busy railway viaduct. In a departure from the harsh functional towers usually associated with such tight urban sites, the Mint Street building is a pleasant, colorful, curved form that offers living spaces with plenty of light and humane proportions.  Read More

Casa Futebol would see pre-fabricated homes installed in Brazil's 12 World Cup stadiums

Brazil spent around US$4 billion renovating and constructing its stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But with the excitement of hosting the globe's biggest sporting event now having passed, one awkward, but important question remains. What to do with all that infrastructure? Drawing inspiration from the social issues plaguing much of the publicity around the event, a pair of French architects have developed a proposal to re-invent the structures as complexes for low-cost housing.  Read More

The sculptural concrete wrap (Image: Hertha Hurnaus)

Vienna is by no means the most crowded metropolis in the world, or even in Europe. Even so, Caramel Architects has designed a house on the outskirts of the city that provides a model for getting more people into a smaller area without giving up amenities like natural light and private garden space.  Read More

The Rhome for denCity project by Team Rhome won the competition with a prototype apartment...

The results are finally in for this year's European Solar Decathlon competition. The Rhome for denCity project, by Italy's Team Rhome, has been declared the overall competition winner, while second and third places go to Philéas by France's Atlantic Challenge, and Prêt-à-Loger by Dutch team TU Delft, respectively. Gizmag was in Paris over the weekend to take a closer look at the prototype sustainable houses.  Read More

Apparatus X is the work of a team of engineering and architecture students at Pennsylvania...

Inspired by a perceived lack of adequate services for victims of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, a team of engineering and architecture students at Pennsylvania State University have joined forces to create something that can help. The result, dubbed Apparatus X, is a work-in-progress concept that seeks to transform an aging RV into a flexible unit that can serve as an off-grid disaster relief vehicle, a micro-home, and a mobile design studio.  Read More

The American Institute of Architects has chosen 10 recipients for its 2014 Housing Awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed what its judges reckon to be the 10 best new American homes and housing complexes, for the organization's 2014 Housing Awards. Though not explicitly marketed as a list of green housing, almost all of the winners feature some degree of sustainable technology or design.  Read More

Live-Lib, a concept for a two-part residential building, could form part of a sustainable ...

Small capsule-like homes where management of utilities, such as electricity and water, is left to the city could form part of a sustainable future for Paris, according to a team of the city's designers and architects. Live-Lib, a concept for a two-part residential building, is designed to provide a degree of privacy while feeding off communal, sustainable resources to drive down costs and energy usage.  Read More

The Community Cube center was built to service Shanghai's migrant workers (Photo: Jennifer...

Non-profit organization INCLUDED has produced a new community center for Shanghai's migrant worker community. Dubbed Community Cube, the two-storey 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft) structure was completed in 2013 and comprises a number of used shipping containers as a primary building material.  Read More

The Bamboo Micro-House prototype unit is designed by Hong Kong architectural firm AFFECT-T...

In a bid to ease the plight of the homeless living in Hong Kong and other cities throughout southeast Asia, architectural studio AFFECT-T recently designed the Bamboo Micro-House prototype. The firm proposes that the tiny bamboo dwellings, which can be placed nearby other units to form small communities within Hong Kong's disused industrial buildings, would serve as temporary shelter while the occupants secure more stable and permanent public housing.  Read More

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